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The Verve

Long acclaimed as one of the most innovative and spellbinding bands on the contemporary British pop scene, the Verve finally broke through to a mass international audience in 1997 with the instant classic "Bittersweet Symphony." By no stretch a study in overnight success, the group's rise was instead the culmination of a long, arduous journey that began at the dawn of the decade and went on to encompass a major breakup, multiple lawsuits, and an extensive diet of narcotics. Perfecting an oceanic sound that fused the exploratory vision of '60s-era psychedelia with the shimmering atmospherics of the shoegazer aesthetic, the Verve languished in relative obscurity while waiting for the rest of the music world to play catch-up, creating one of the most complex and rewarding bodies of work in modern rock & roll long before most listeners even learned of the group's existence -- only to again fall apart at the peak of their success.

Originally known simply as Verve, the group was formed in the small Northern English city of Wigan in 1989. Richard Ashcroft -- a swaggering, shamanic figure in the classic rock star mold -- led the band, whose original lineup also included guitarist Nick McCabe, bassist Simon Jones, and drummer Peter Salisbury. Sharing a collective fondness for the Beatles, Funkadelic, and Krautrock -- as well as a legendary appetite for psychedelics -- the quartet signed to the Hut label within months, debuting in March 1992 with the single "All in the Mind," the first in a series of indie chart-topping efforts featuring the eye-catching artwork of designer Brian Cannon. Subsequent efforts like "She's a Superstar" and "Gravity Grave" captured an original musical identity growing by leaps and bounds, distinguished chiefly by Ashcroft's elemental vocals and McCabe's echoing guitar leads.

While Verve's long, liquid jams found favor on the British indie charts, pop radio looked the other way. Their majestic debut LP, 1993's A Storm in Heaven, was a critical smash, but positive reviews from a variety of critics failed to translate into strong record sales. The following summer, Verve appeared on the second stage at Lollapalooza, a tour tempered by a string of disasters -- not only was Salisbury arrested for destroying a Kansas hotel room, but Ashcroft was also hospitalized after suffering from severe dehydration. Around that same time, the American jazz label also dubbed Verve slapped the band with a lawsuit, forcing the quartet to officially change its name to "the Verve." Sessions for the 1995 follow-up, A Northern Soul, proved to be the last straw -- admittedly recorded under the influence of a massive intake of Ecstasy, the album's harrowing intensity was met with disappointing sales and little media recognition, and just three months after its release, Ashcroft made his exit.

Although Ashcroft quickly reassembled the Verve a few weeks later, McCabe initially refused to return, and was replaced by guitarist/keyboardist Simon Tong. Finally, in early 1997, McCabe came back to the fold, and as a quintet they recorded Urban Hymns, their breakthrough LP. Heralded by the smash "Bittersweet Symphony" -- a single built around a looped sample of a symphonic recording of the Rolling Stones' "The Last Time" -- Urban Hymns launched the Verve among the U.K.'s most popular bands. Even at their peak, however, the curse of the band's past lingered on, as legal hassles awarded 100 percent of the song's publishing rights to ABKCO Music, which controlled the Stones' back catalog. The second single from the album, the haunting "The Drugs Don't Work," became the Verve's first U.K. number one smash, while the hit singles "Lucky Man" and "Sonnet" soon followed. However, when McCabe pulled out of the group's 1998 U.S. tour, the group suffered yet another blow. After months of rumors, the Verve officially split the following spring.

Ashcroft launched a solo career in the early 2000s and enjoyed success with a number of singles, including "Break the Night With Colour." Meanwhile, Nick McCabe remixed a track for the Music and collaborated with British songwriter John Martyn, while Tong and Jones formed a short-lived band named the Shining. Tong later joined the Good, the Bad & the Queen in July 2006, and although he continued to focus on his post-Verve projects, the remaining members of the Verve reunited in 2007 for an international tour. The band also set to work on another studio album, Forth, which was released in August 2008 following a successful year of sold-out concerts and festival dates. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Forth

1. Sit And Wonder

2. Love Is Noise

3. Rather Be

4. Judas

5. Numbness

6. I See Houses

7. Noise Epic

8. Valium Skies

9. Columbo

10. Appalachian Springs

x

Track List: This Is Music: The Singles 92-98

1. This Is Music

2. Slide Away

3. Lucky Man

4. History

5. She's A Superstar

6. On Your Own

7. Blue

8. Sonnet

9. All In The Mind

10. The Drugs Don't Work

11. Gravity Grave

12. Bitter Sweet Symphony

13. This Could Be My Moment

14. Monte Carlo

x

Track List: Urban Hymns

1. Bitter Sweet Symphony

2. Sonnet

3. The Rolling People

4. The Drugs Don't Work

5. Catching The Butterfly

6. Neon Wilderness

7. Space And Time

8. Weeping Willow

9. Lucky Man

10. One Day

11. This Time

12. Velvet Morning

13. Come On

x

Track List: A Northern Soul

1. A New Decade

2. This Is Music

3. On Your Own

4. So It Goes

5. A Northern Soul

6. Brainstorm Interlude

7. Drive You Home

8. History

9. No Knock On My Door

10. Life's An Ocean

11. Stormy Clouds

12. (Reprise)

x

Track List: No Come Down (B Sides & Outtakes)

1. No Come Down

2. Blue (USA Mix)

3. Make It Till Monday (Acoustic)

4. Butterfly (Acoustic)

5. Where The Geese Go

6. 6 O'Clock

7. One Way To Go

8. Gravity Grave (Live)

9. Twilight

x

Track List: A Storm In Heaven

1. Star Sail

2. Slide Away

3. Already There

4. Beautiful Mind

5. The Sun, The Sea

6. Virtual World

7. Make It Till Monday

8. Blue

9. Butterfly

10. See You In The Next One (Have A Good Time)

Comments

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Bitter Sweet symphony by these guys is one of my favorite songs.
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nilsa3477
��
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olcpvideos
They are a great band.
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But I'm a luck man with fire in my hands...
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skousaie
The Seattle sea hawks walk out to this song
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Bitter Sweet Symphony...M a n I Love this tune! Never ever get tired of it...Absolut e l y love it!!! Trippyyyyyy!
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#np Bitter Sweet Symphony by #Verve on Adult-ternat i v e Radio Listen #90s
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bands like coldplay rock coldplays song fix you, snow patrols songs chasing cars, and eyes open, and ya thanks a lot guys. really thanks. i LOVE these songs
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Bands like this send wild chills throughot my body & soul. Thank You to All Of You for giving us such fabo creativity.T H A N K YOU THANK THANK YOU
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That u for the awsome songs bye world ��
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But instead I will just die
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I wish I had a life
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Help me so depressed... . .
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I can change but I'm in my mode baby!!!!! Great song, fucko the Rolling Stones for suing them!!!!
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Great song. I remember when it was used by Nike.
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bren7777
Bitter Sweet Symphony..
Me
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bren7777
Dedicated to myself..
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Say iPhone 5x
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ewthompson
get dressed only see lololo Dec lookin exec de deserved ink e ink kdofijk!cmfr k e o d l x d k m
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seannjess84
Love the station
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The Verve were innovators no doubt.....th i s is a great song, but do yourself a favor and listen to their other stuff, it's truly great material
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Blue
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Best part of Cruel Intentions was when Sarah Michelle Gellar is wearing her *ss as a hat and this song starts playing
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i blame the media they are geniuses
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Cool group but doomed fro the start....
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I can't say Im a big fan.. But this song alone was worth buying the album!! Bittersweet video is amazing.. One person going against the rest of the world.. I dig it!!
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This goes out to one special lady i cherish for all the things you do like be there to listen to me when i am feeling blue. For being patient with me and never putting anymore down than i already felt of a old life i shaken away leaving it behind me where it belongs.This playing in one of her all time favorite flicks with touchy story of a young man thinking he couldn't fall in love untill he meants the woman of his dreams changing his life before it was too late. So i thank you my dear Jen for
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Remember this spend it alllllllllll l love u papa!
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My papa said this to me, I missssssss u
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djean830
Awesome song!
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\_ o.O _/
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Remember me when I am gone ,they sing the truth!!!!!!! ! ! ! !
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I luv the verve , they speak my luv,so Misunderstoo d
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My daughter and I danced to this at her wedding. My choice.
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This would be the perfect background music in a really emotional part of a movie.
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my friend died listening to this - morgan xxx
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I love this song :)
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It's ok
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I love Cap'n Crunch, who doesnt love the Cap'n?
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Whatta Band, Goss bless the British & Verve! Enjoying this beautiful springtime weather in New England.
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You will die tomorrow and see what you think
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Bitter sweet symphony the Verve's best song
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Word song makes me feel happy and want to do something positive when they play it.What happened to these dudes anyway?does anyone know?
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Vhy yugygy church
Bhhjhhjhjsdh h f v j h f d h j h j f d
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We so deserve the Verve
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jrhull0216
I was looking for bittersweet symphony cause I heard it and didn't know what it was. So glad I found it
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love love love these guys!
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kerrinbowers
Love bittersweet symphony
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kerrinbowers
Lol it's the VERVE
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feels like a sweet n happy song. liked it from the start!!
Show more

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